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VOICES

Opinion When you think of a sex worker, you might never think of someone like me

I’m a young, unemployed student. I desperately needed to pay my college tuition, so I signed up to a website seeking a ‘financial arrangement’ with a wealthy man.

IRELAND IS NOT a fun place to be a young, unemployed student. We face astronomical college fees. We are expected to take up forced labour schemes or emigrate. Our mental health system is lacking the vital services it requires to serve its main purpose. We may as well forget about housing – that could be a whole blog post of its own. Social protection has proved to not be so protecting after all. So, when a young female student, unemployed, needs to find the €2,750 college fee, within a few months, where does she turn?

In this case, she turned to this relatively new idea in Ireland, called a ‘financial arrangement’. She signed up to a website, which matches wealthy men (sugar daddies), with young female students (sugar babies). The sugar babies provide the men with companionship and time, in return for an arranged fee. In other words, the men pay for sex. It’s what I would call middle class prostitution. To be blunt.

I did this once. It was unwanted and cold sex. I was taken to a fancy hotel in Dublin city, to a fancy hotel suite with a separate living area. A balcony. Room service. A wealthy man. And me.

I admit I drank quite a bit before I even arrived. Not even that could quell my mind shouting at me not to go ahead with it.

But I desperately needed that money.

In the morning, I awoke, and decided to leave immediately. As I was getting ready, he threw a wad of cash into my bag. I said goodbye. And began to walk down the hall quickly, whilst counting my cash.

I had become a whore.

I rang my best friend immediately, who knew what I was doing. Within a few hours we were drinking away my memories of that night. That’s the problem with this work. You will end up spending a lot of the cash, trying to forget how you got it in the first place.

Would I advise someone in financial distress, to take the measures I’ve taken? Not necessarily. Being a middle class prostitute is a dangerous game. You sell something extremely precious and valuable to some sleaze. You don’t know who he is, or what he is capable of. You don’t know who else is in that hotel suite when you walk in.

Before now, I saw sex work as an underground, suspicious trade that involved pimps, streets and drugs. I thought of drug addicts becoming sex workers to fuel their habit. When you think of a sex worker, never would you think of a student just trying to get an education, like me.

I am not ashamed of what I did. What I am ashamed of is the situation I found myself in.

The author of this article wishes to remain anonymous. 

Read: Pimps ‘taking advantage’ of delay in new prostitution law

Read: Drugs and prostitution will be used to measure Ireland’s GDP

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